An heroick poem.
Upon the late horrid Rebellion,
His Majesties happy Restauration:
and the magnanimity and valour of
his royal highness James Duke of York,
in the late Dutch war
London: printed for T. D. 1683
This little Poem I have Collected and Translated from the Sixth Book of Mr. Cowley's Plantarum, being intermix't with other Matters and Circumstances. I am very sensible how ill this Piece represents the Life, for if no Copy was ever so good as the Original, (as the Divine Cowley himself says) how imperfectly must the greatest Master perhaps that ever the world knew (Virgil excepted) be copied by the Pencil of a Dawber? However this Translation may give you a tolerable Prospect of the Sense of the Author and the Beauty of his Thoughts, though divested of their Ornaments, and perhaps these ill-dress't Lines may at least be acceptable to those who have not the advantage of seeing them in their rich Habiliments. I have avoided a servile, verbal translation, observing that noted Rule of Horace [A. P. 123-33]:
Non verbum verbo reddere fidus
Interpres. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
the only way an Author can be rendred perspicuous, and (I may say) intelligible in another language. By a verbal Translation nothing almost can be rendred well, and some things not tolerably; As Mr. Dryden in his excellent discourse of Translations before Ovid's Epistles, observes.
I will produce an instance out of the Sixth Book of Mr. Cowley's Plantarum [6.1211] here translated:
Tergeminique eidem fratres in morte Jacentes.
The greatest Favourite of Apollo (I doubt) cannot render this well into English any way, much less by a literal translation.
In some places of this Poem the sence is not determin'd at the end of the Stanza, which (tho improper in Original Poems) I think an ill natur'd Judge may excuse in a Translation, where a man ha's, at the best, but a limited, and no absolute power, being confin'd to the sence of the Author; which rather than pervert, I choose sometimes to be a little irregular in inconsiderable matters.